Sunday, November 28, 2004

Off Your Backs, Into Your Bedrooms, and All Through Your Bodies

Conservatives like to hold themselves up as the party of small government and less governmental intrusion. For decades they have trumpeted the growing weight of the government's heavy hand on the neck of the electorate, and cast accusatory fingers at Democrats as the party behind this tyranny.

But that hasn't stopped them from howling like banshees when the Supreme Court ruled against government surveillance of bedroom activities in Texas, and struck down the law that the state used to punish such activities as it found there when it suited them.

Now, in a piece from The Independent, we find that GlaxoSmithKline, among other un-named BIg Pharma companies, has been colluding with New York's child "welfare" system to force children to take its experimental anti-HIV drugs:
"The trials have been taking place in New York under the auspices of the Administration for Children's Services, the body that looks after the welfare of children in New York City.

The ACS has an agreement with the Pediatric Aids Clinical Trials Group, supported by GSK and other drug companies, to test treatments on HIV-positive children. No tests can take place on children without parental consent and drug companies have had great difficulty in the past obtaining such consent for Aids drug trials.

However, the ACS is deemed to be the legal guardian for many HIV-positive children. According to a BBC2 documentary, Guinea Pig Kids, to be shown on Tuesday, the ACS has forced children to be involved in these trials, removing them from foster homes if the foster parent did not comply and even physically making the children take the drugs."
GSK admits that it knew the state was using force to make the kids take the drugs, but excused itself by stating that it had no direct involvement in the coercion---it only supplied the drugs. But lest you think this was only a state-level issue, there's this:

"It added that the US regulator, the Food and Drug Administration, encouraged the studies. "Clinical trials involving children and orphans are therefore legal and not unusual," GSK said in a statement."
I don't think I can add anything more to this that hasn't already occurred to someone reading this post, except to say that this is being done on your watch, Republicans, and by the government that the Bush supporters voted in, under the aegis of the FDA that Bush vetted and that has allowed Merck to kill 27,000 people.

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